Casio today announced the portable Casiotone CT-S500 keyboard and its big brother, the CT-S1000V, a vocal synthesis keyboard that can turn any text, such as song lyrics, into musical phrases that the keyboard can “sing”, in full harmony, based on the notes that you play.
Casio says that no keyboard instrument has ever before been able to speak and sing with this degree of ease and musicality.
You can enter custom lyrics using the companion Lyric Creator app for iOS and Android devices. The words are transmitted into the CT-S1000V via USB and can then be played, using any of its 22 Vocalist types, including talkboxes, processed choirs, robot voices, vocoders and whispered voices
Phrases can be played all at once, according to a set rhythm when keys are pressed, or one syllable at a time as new notes are played – with or without legato. They can also be sequenced together to play complete songs.
Here’s a quick intro to the CT-S1000V and its vocal synthesis capabilities, from Casio’s Mike Martin:
Other key features of the CT-S1000V:
- AiX tone source offers 800 high-resolution sounds, representing all categories of instruments.
- The keyboard may be split or layered to play multiple sounds at once.
- 64-voice polyphony
- The accompaniment section features 243 built-in rhythms, 50 user-programmable rhythms, simplified chord fingering modes (including CASIO Chord) for easy playing, and auto-harmonies.
- Players can arrange songs on the fly by switching between various intro, normal, fill-in, variation, and ending sections.
- The CT-S1000V includes the ability to sample up to ten seconds of high-quality audio (or several three-second samples for creating drum kits) via its 1/8-inch stereo input.
- The CT-S1000V also gives you the flexibility of sampling wirelessly using the (included) WU-BT10Bluetooth MIDI & audio adapter.
- An onboard MIDI recorder on the CT-S1000V can store up to five performances, with a capacity of six tracks and 40,000 notes per song.
- The CT-S1000V can also connect to a computer or mobile device via USB-MIDI or Bluetooth to work with your MIDI software and Casio’s Music Space iOS/Android app.
- 100 built-in, studio-quality DSP effects. The effects include amplifier and cabinet simulators, modulation effects, choruses, reverbs, delays, among others. Each of the effects can be extensively customized and modified on the fly.
Alongside the CT-S1000V, Casio also introduced the CT-S500 keyboard:
The CT-S500 comes with all the CT-S1000V’s instrument sounds, accompaniment features, sampling, MIDI recording, and effects – but without the vocal synthesis capabilities.
The keyboards each weigh just over 10 pounds and can run on six AA batteries.
Casio debuted the new instruments in a live online event, embedded below:
Pricing and Availability
The CT-S1000V has a street price of about $450 and CT-S500 a street price of about $380. They are available at musical instrument retailers nationwide and via CasioMusicGear.com. See the Casio site for details.